‘This is an unfortunate example of keeping political differences above public service and constitutional duties,’ Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said.
Hitting out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for skipping a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state on Cyclone Yaas, BJP president J P Nadda on Friday accused her of “murder of constitutional ethos and the culture of cooperative federalism.” Other senior leaders of the party also condemned her with Union minister Rajnath Singh describing her conduct as shocking and painful.
“This kind of behaviour with the prime minister, who arrived in the state with a sense of helping people of Bengal in the time of disaster, is painful. This is an unfortunate example of keeping political differences above public service and constitutional duties, which harms the basic spirit of India’s federal system,” Singh said.
Nadda said Modi holds the principle of cooperative federalism “very sacred” and has been actively working with all chief ministers irrespective of their party affiliation to give relief to people but unsurprisingly, he added, Banerjee’s tactics and petty politics have once again come to haunt the people of Bengal.
“When PM Narendra Modi stands strong with the citizens of West Bengal in wake of Cyclone Yaas, Mamata ji should also set aside her ego for the welfare of people. Her absence from the PM’s meeting is murder of constitutional ethos & the culture of cooperative federalism,” he tweeted. Singh added that this was a shocking development.
Chief ministers and prime minister are not merely individuals but institutions, he said. Modi visited Odisha and West Bengal and held review meetings in both the states on the post-cyclone situation. While Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik attended the meeting with Modi, Banerjee skipped the review meeting in her state.
She, however, submitted a report to the prime minister on the damage caused by Cyclone Yaas in the state, and sought a Rs 20,000-crore package for redevelopment of the worst-affected areas. As the West Bengal chief minister, Banerjee’s relations with the central government and the BJP top brass have been far from smooth as she has often accused them of using central agencies and also the governor’s office to harass her government.
The BJP has denied the charge and often claimed that she has used the state machinery to target its members and accused her of not adhering to constitutional properties in her dealings with the Centre.
BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav claimed that Banerjee is so disturbed by her defeat in Nandigram that she tried to “disrespect” Modi by flouting norms. “She only ended up holding a mirror to her true self. As for the Prime Minister of India, the chair is too sacrosanct to be denigrated by a dictator,” he said.